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I fully support Tinubu’s presidential ambition – Ex-NAN MD

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Former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, Bayo Onanuga

A former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, Bayo Onanuga has pledged his loyalty to the presidential ambition of the All Progressives Congress aspirant, Asiwaju Bola Ahmeds Tinubu.

Onanuga reaffirmed his support while responding to claims that he had switched camps ahead of the 2023 election.

He said he had known Tinubu for a long time and was part of his governorship campaign in 1998.

Onanuga wrote: “My attention has been drawn to some lies being circulated about me as having jumped the Bola Ahmed Tinubu train and being against his presidential ambition.

“The faceless writer, I guess a hatchet hand, wrote: ‘Almost all members of the Tinubu original power/intellectual base and allies when he was Governor are not in support of his Presidential ambition. Aregbesola, Afikuyomi, Ojudu, Onanuga, Alake, Fasola etc. Most of them may work for PYO.’

“Let me correct this misrepresentation straightforwardly: the statement is far from the truth as far as I am concerned.

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“I am fully in support of Bola Tinubu. I am not in PYO’s camp and will not be in his camp if Tinubu is running.

“People who know me will attest to the fact that I am ever loyal to my friends, loyal to a political cause. I have been on the political left since 1978’when I joined Awolowo’s UPN as a UNILAG student.

“I am not a renegade. And I can vouch for Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi and Dele Alake as well.

“The author of the rumour was merely writing conjectures on an issue that is unpredictable, a party’s primary election, where an outsider will only Labour in vain in making permutations.

“As far as I am concerned, and let me say it loud and clear, I am in support of Bola Tinubu’s ambition. I am not against him. He is my first choice, the second choice and the third choice for the exalted seat.

“Nigeria is in need of a visionary, a deep thinker, a man with the Midas touch, who can take our country on a journey of prosperity. This country has suffered enough and really needs a new leader who can breathe fresh air in it and change the way things are done.

“Nigeria needs a man of ideas, who will not just talk his way, but really get things done.

“I have no doubt that Bola Tinubu is capable of this, which is why I support his campaign to lead Nigeria.

“I have known him since 1992. I was part of his governorship campaign in 1998 before others were invited to his government after we won the election in January 1999.

“I was close to his government for eight years and I bore witness to the innovations he brought into governance, the overhauling of the system that he carried out, some of which other states and the Federal Government had copied.

“I have no iota of doubt that he will replicate the same at the centre, and even do more, if given the opportunity. These are the reasons I support his campaign. And Nigerians will hear more about my involvement in the next few days.”

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Politics

Adeleke freezes government accounts, reverses state name

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Ademola Adeleke

The newly inaugurated Governor of Osun State, Ademola Adeleke, has frozen all government accounts in the state.

Adeleke directed this in his first executive order upon inauguration on Sunday.

Adeleke, in his speech delivered at the inauguration, alleged that the erstwhile governor of the state, Adegboyega Oyetola, carried out some actions “maliciously” after he (Adeleke) won the July 16 governorship election, including “hurried” employments without provisions to sustain them.

He claimed these actions were roadblocks channeled at making things difficult in his administration.

Adeleke also reversed the state name from ‘State of Osun’ to ‘Osun State’, saying the former was alien to the constitution.

“My good people of Osun, since you elected me as your governor on the July 16, 2022, which the Independent National Electoral Commission announced on July 17, 2022, the former Governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, maliciously started putting road blocks to make things difficult and almost impossible for the new administration to serve you.

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“Mass employments were carried out without budgetary provisions for salary payments for the new employees; even when the state was struggling to pay salaries and deliver other services. Various hurried and criminally backdated contracts were awarded and again without budgetary provisions.

“Appointments of several Obas were hurriedly done without following due process, just to mention a few.

 “All efforts to get the governor set up a Transition Committee and submit hand-over notes in line with best practices proved abortive.

“It is therefore my desire to ask for your patience and understanding to give my administration a few weeks to review and sort out all the actions and malicious confusions which the immediate past administration has created since July 17, 2022. Those actions were indeed vindictive measures against the people of Osun State for voting them out of office,” Adeleke said.

Giving new orders, he said, “Consequently, I hereby issue the following directives which will be backed up with appropriate Executive orders:

“Immediate freezing of all government accounts in banks and other financial institutions;

“Immediate establishment of a panel to carry out an inventory and recover all government assets.

“An immediate establishment of a panel to review all appointments and major decisions of the immediate past administration taken after July 17, 2022.

“An immediate reversal to the constitutionally recognised name of our state, ‘Osun State’. All government insignia, correspondences and signages should henceforth reflect Osun State rather than State of Osun which is unknown to the Nigerian constitution.”

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Ebonyi INEC office set on fire, PVCs, ballot boxes burnt

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Hoodlums on Sunday set ablaze the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office at Iboko in the Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

This was disclosed by the National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, in a statement.

He said the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Ebonyi State, Mrs Onyeka Pauline Ugochi, reported that that the incident occurred around 10am.

Although he said no casualties resulted from the attack, the main building and all the movable and immovable items inside it were destroyed.

“These include 340 ballot boxes, 130 voting cubicles, 14 electric power generators, large water storage tanks, assorted office furniture and fixtures and yet to be determined quantities of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs),” Okoye said.

According to him, this is the third attack on INEC local government office in less than three weeks having earlier recorded similar attacks on the commission’s offices in Ogun and Osun states.

He said that the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies had commenced a full investigation into the incident.

 

The statement read, “The Resident Electoral Commissioner for Ebonyi State, Mrs Onyeka Ugochi, reported that our Izzi Local Government Area office located in Iboko, was set ablaze this morning.

“The incident occurred around 10.00am when some unidentified persons set the entire building ablaze.

“Although no casualties resulted from the attack, the main building and all the movable and immovable items inside it were destroyed. These include 340 ballot boxes, 130 voting cubicles, 14 electric power generators, large water storage tanks, assorted office furniture and fixtures and yet to be determined quantities of Permanent Voters’ Cards.

“The attention of the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies has been drawn to the incident and have commenced investigation.

“Sadly, this is the third attack on our Local Government office in less than three weeks following similar attacks on our offices in Ogun and Osun States on 10th November 2022.”

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We haven’t endorsed Peter Obi, Dogara, aggrieved Northern APC

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Former House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara

Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and other members of the aggrieved Northern All Progressives Congress, APC camp have dismissed speculations that the group has endorsed the Obi-Datti presidency ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The group made the dismissal in a statement jointly-signed by Simon Achuba, Hon Albert Atiwurcha, Prof Doknan Sheni, Mela A. Nunge, SAN, Gen Ishaya Bauka Rtd, Prof Ibrahim Haruna and Mrs Leah Olusiyi.

Recall that the Chairman of the group and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, had said the group has endorsed the Labour Party presidential candidate, Obi and his running mate, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed.

According to him, Obi was endorsed, after painstakingly reviewing and analysing the alternative candidates.

But, Dogara and other members of the group have distanced themselves from the endorsement, saying they are yet to conclude consultations and that their position will be made public.

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He said, “We want to draw the attention of the general public to the recent position canvassed by our Chairman, Engr B D Lawal as the position of our Group. We wish to state that necessary consultations have been concluded, and based on manifestly unassailable empirical data, the group is poised to adopt a position that will be made known to the public at an interfaith event to be held very soon.

“Suffices to say that no one in the group including the Chairman has been mandated to speak to the public about our position at this material time. Based on our modus Operandi, our position was meant to be presented to the general public at the event above referred to. That has not changed.

“Consequently, the decision to endorse a particular candidate and the statement credited to the chairman are solely the decision and views of the Chairman which he is absolutely entitled to but not that of the group. We hope this statement clears all the queries most of us have been inundated with on this all-important subject matter,” he added.

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